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September 22, 2023
September 22, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Board of Trustees Chair, William J. Netchert, Esq., announced that HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber has again been named to the NJBIZ “Education Power 50” list.
“This is the third year in a row that NJBIZ has recognized Dr. Reber with this well-deserved honor,” Mr. Netchert stated. “We are very proud of him and everything he has done to promote student success, and diversity, equity and inclusion. He continues to address the challenges of helping the people of our community attain their educational goals, enjoy well-paying, sustainable careers, and achieve lasting improvement in Hudson County’s workforce.”
One of the biggest challenges facing colleges throughout the United States is student retention. Since becoming HCCC President in July 2018, Dr. Reber has established a culture of caring, connectedness, and commitment to student success. As a result, people of color, first-generation college students, immigrants, career changers, and recent high school graduates all call HCCC “home.”
Under Dr. Reber’s leadership, the College designed and developed groundbreaking programs to ensure student success. These include the innovative, national award-winning “Hudson Scholars” program that utilizes proven best practices and provides proactive advisement, financial stipends, and early academic intervention to ensure that a greater number of students facing financial challenges, language barriers, employment concerns, and family responsibilities complete their college education, achieve their goals, and realize their dreams. Additionally, the College strengthened its culture of care with the “Hudson Helps Resource Center” where students can access a one-stop, comprehensive array of services, supports, and resources that address needs beyond the classroom.
Dr. Reber approached Hudson County’s need for an educated and skilled workforce by collaborating with corporate America, manufacturing organizations, unions, and educational partners to offer opportunities for those who are traditionally underrepresented and marginalized. The Holz Technik Eastern Millwork and HCCC Apprenticeship Program is a pay-as-you-learn program that provides participants with high-tech careers and debt-free college degrees while meeting the area’s need for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing. As part of the American Association of Community College’s Metallica Scholars Initiative, which is offered by HCCC in partnership with New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), previously incarcerated individuals are provided with cost-free instruction and a pathway to certification in welding. HCCC also works with NJRC to provide training for industry-recognized credentials in construction, forklift, OSHA-30, and phlebotomy.
Other transformative programs that lead to gainful employment include partnerships with JPMorgan Chase, who funded HCCC’s “Gateway to Innovation” initiative; apprenticeship/work-study programs with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164, and International Union of Operating Engineers 825; the New Jersey Water Workforce Development Initiative pilot training program, a collaboration with Bank of America, New Jersey Future, Veolia, New Jersey Water Association, and New Jersey Utility Association; NJCCC/NJBIA Basic Skills and Workforce Literacy Training Centers; and the New Jersey Pay It Forward Program, a partnership of the State of New Jersey, NJ CEO Council, and Social Finance, that provides interest-free loans and living stipends for HCCC nursing students.
Dr. Christopher Reber has devoted his entire career to higher education. Prior to leading HCCC, he served as President of the Community College of Beaver County (2014-18); Executive Dean and Campus Executive Officer of Venango College of Clarion University of Pennsylvania (2002-14); Associate Provost for Advancement and University Relations, Dean of Student Affairs, and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University at Erie, The Behrend College (1987-2002); Director of Human Resource Development Division, and Director of Lifelong Learning at Lakeland Community College (1984-87); and other positions earlier in his career. He holds a Postdoctoral Certificate from the Institute for Educational Management, Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pittsburgh; M.A. in College Student Personnel Administration from Bowling Green State University; and B.A. in Latin from Dickinson College.
In addition to the NJBIZ Education Power 50 awards, Dr. Reber was recognized with the 2022 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Regional Chief Executive Officer Award; Hudson County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural “Legends Spirit Award”; and Phi Theta Kappa’s 2020 “Paragon President” Award.